Cloud

What the Heck is the Cloud?

We’re all familiar with the term, but let’s be honest – despite its prevalence, there’s still a great deal of obscurity surrounding The Cloud’s real meaning. Although it has existed for decades as a technological concept, The Cloud only entered popular lexicon a few years ago. Over the past few years, it’s become obvious to nearly everyone that the Cloud is awesome, powerful, and the future of computing. What’s still slightly less obvious to most people is what exactly The Cloud is.

So, what is The Cloud?
As a managed cloud services provider in Frederick, MD, we hear this question all the time. So, what exactly is The Cloud? As it turns out, the answer is actually relatively straightforward. The term generally refers to a collection of redundant computing resources – or, in other words, a bunch of computers in a big room Somewhere Else. Somewhere Else could be anywhere – a few blocks down the street, or across the world. Either way, though, these computers are then accessed remotely to store data, run applications, and provide computing power.

The Early Days of the Cloud
As we mentioned earlier, cloud computing isn’t a new concept. In fact, it dates back to the earliest days of computers, when large mainframes were accessed through “dumb terminals”, so named because they were only used for connecting to the computing power of the mainframe. While the results of computing requests were transferred back to the terminal, the servers did all of the real “work”.

A more recent example of the concept of cloud computing is the Internet itself. The data you access isn’t stored on your local hard drive – it’s stored remotely, in servers all across the world. Your computer connects to those remote servers to retrieve the data.

The Cloud Today
Today, the concept of The Cloud remains the same. The premise is that instead of storing all of your data and computing power locally, you can outsource it to managed cloud service providers. You can run applications, save data, send email, and more using computing power that isn’t stored locally. So, what does that look like? And, more importantly, what’s the point?

The Benefits of Managed Cloud Service Providers
To begin with, cloud computing is cost effective. That’s because businesses don’t need to create, store, and maintain their own server systems to house their data – they can simply rent or lease space on remote servers. This allows businesses to maximize the computing power and storage that they get for their buck.

And while there’s no drop-off in functionality, the data store by managed cloud providers is nearly always safer and better maintained than the data on on-site servers can be. That’s because cloud service providers are experts at maintaining and optimizing the servers they provide.

In fact, using a managed cloud services provider is a bit like hiring a chauffer to oversee your car. You don’t have to worry about maintenance headaches, traffic, or any of the issues that would concern you as a driver. You just get in and go. That’s the beauty of The Cloud.

So, hopefully we’ve cleared up some of the obscurity surrounding The Cloud. If you’re interested in seeing how cloud computing could help your business, give Swift Systems a call at 301-682-5100, or contact us online. As managed cloud service providers in Maryland, we have the resources to help you use our Cloud services to their full potential – and the expertise to help you understand exactly what that means.

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